Tips for managing your finances during a crisis
Many people have suffered a financial hit during the current health and economic crisis, and the last thing some may think of is looking for ways to save money.
However, if you are able to save or reduce other costs, it will make a world of difference for recovering more quickly.
Strategies for saving money during difficult times
Whether or not someone’s financial situation has been affected over the past few months, several strategies can be beneficial, such as:
- Reducing costs: During a pandemic, it may be crucial to redefine necessary and unnecessary expenses. Make a list of essential bills, such as mortgage or rent, food and utilities. While you may always pay off your credit cards in full each month, it’s OK to pay the minimum if things get tight.
- Adjust savings: A standard goal for any household should be building three to six months of savings for an emergency fund. However, during this time, consider adjusting those expectations. If you need to make changes, make it a goal to continue putting something into savings, even if it’s much less than usual.
- Utilize community resources: If you are having financial difficulties, you can call 2-1-1 or go to 211.org online to find support in the Knoxville area, such as food banks, mental health services, meal plans for seniors and other help. This lifeline can help families cope during a crisis.
- Access savings wisely: If you have an emergency fund and need to use it, keep track of how it’s spent and estimate how much you’ll need before making a withdrawal. Also, watch out for making too many withdrawals in a month as some banks will charge fees if you go over six.
Seek experienced advice
Overwhelming debt can have a crippling effect on a family’s finances, whether from medical bills, student loans or credit cards. In many cases, filing for bankruptcy can be the best option to reduce or reorganize debt, stop creditors from harassing you and restoring your financial health.
While many people are uncomfortable looking at bankruptcy as an option, in many cases, it allows families to keep their homes and be debt-free. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you consider whether it’s the best solution for your situation or offer a viable alternative.